Salvage by Alexandra Duncan | Teen Ink

Salvage by Alexandra Duncan

April 11, 2015
By BoobooBeetle DIAMOND, Jacksonville, Florida
BoobooBeetle DIAMOND, Jacksonville, Florida
74 articles 1 photo 36 comments

Favorite Quote:
“A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.”
G.K. Chesterton

"And you, you ridiculous people, you expect me to help you."
Denis Johnson

Love, death, renewal – the scope of this intriguing, heart-breaking novel; will she be able to endure the impediments on Earth? This novel—Salvage—features Ava Parastrata, the daughter of the captain on a vessel entitled the, “Parastrata,” that voyages abysmal within the confines of space. I want to let you all comprehend that this book has some content not advocated for a younger audience. However, this stimulating book spikes my interest and I would have to voice that this is an exceptional and distinctive way to spin a tale of futuristic adventure, fantasy and feminism, but most of all, love.        

     You may automatically be cogitating that I’m referring to the “true love” type of thing—which I unequivocally disgust that most books contain—, but surprisingly, I’m not. This book takes such a unique turn when beginning to talk about Ava’s (protagonist) love for a man her age—to her love for her family, friends, and those who will become closer than she would’ve ever expected. Ava Parastrata resides on a ship with stringent procedures and cruel crewmates. However, how was she to know it was so crude, since it’s the only place she’s ever lived?

     “Sometimes I forget the true, endless scope of the Void and lull myself to thinking our ship is all the universe there is. But then we pass a moon or a world, hanging lonely and luminous in the dark, and it comes to me, the sheer stretch of the emptiness we live in.” Within this quote, it really does a wonderful job in the act of describing the thoughts that do and will go on in the mind of this teenager, Ava. Living out within the depths of space, there really is no purpose in life, and oddly enough, Ava Parastrata is the only one who realizes this.

     Ava falls in love with a boy, Luck, that she knew when she was younger, sadly, however, Luck left before they got to know each other as friends. However, while observing a place she’s never been before, an orchard of lemons, she runs into Luck in the middle of the night. It was the decision that she chose in that moment that altered the rest of her life for the worst or the better. Just as stated on the cover of the book, “Her fall is only the beginning.”

     However, her “fall” isn’t the only impediment that she has; she can’t read, write, or even endure the potencies of gravity. So, how is she imagined to even survive life? Upon the ship she dwells on, all the women depend on the men, so when she is cursed to Earth, how “on Earth” is she going to live?  This is the main question that will be solved within the book, with many twists that will keep causing you to turn the page. She meets several people who will help make this book so impacting. Perpétue and Miyole, my two favorite characters, will truly make your heart leap for joy and fall for sadness.

     Alexandra Duncan, the author of this captivating book has done just a wonderful job in the creation of this novel. Other than being just a writer, she is also a librarian residing in the western part of North Carolina.  If you’re a fan of Across the Universe by Beth Revis or The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, the plot and the style of writing is something that will really draw you into this book that you couldn’t stop flipping the page.

     “There’s what you’re forced to do, there’s what you choose, and everything else—most things—are a mix. At best, you’ll spend your life trying not to get hurt, but trying not to do the hurting, either. You won’t always come through, but it’s the best anyone can do. It’s the trying I’d call good.” This does an exceptional job at showing what Ava has difficulty understanding in her life, since she considers that everything she does is incorrect and makes other people around her suffer.

     Salvage truly was a wonderful book to read and I’m glad I read it. This book wasn’t only amazing when talking about the plot, but it was also quite fascinating when talking about the words of knowledge that were printed within the confines of almost each page. “Perpétue follows my gaze. ‘They threw you out,’ she says. ‘That doesn’t mean you’re worthless. It only means they didn’t see your worth.’”

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